Read Aloud to a Child Week 2021 Theme Contest

Every year during the last week of October, Read to Them hosts Read Aloud to a Child Week, a national event meant to showcase the importance of reading aloud to children and to encourage families to read together. Usually the theme for this event is selected by Read to Them staff, but for this year, we’re bringing you the opportunity to select the theme yourself. 

For over 20 years, Read Aloud to a Child Week has been a stress-free way to engage with the literacy community. It truly is as simple as picking up a book and reading aloud as a family! And with Read to Them curating book lists for picture and chapter books, it’s even easier to dive into stories that enrich the selected theme.  


The Read Aloud to a Child Week theme for 2020 was “Let Your Voice Be Heard” which highlighted titles about preserving the environment, voting, identity, bullying, and the power of speaking up. Given the turbulent year behind us, it felt fitting to shine a light on silver-linings and the pillars of strength that kept our communities functioning amid strife and struggle.

Below are the four potential themes and their descriptions:

  • Diversity— Encourage your children to practice and understand the value of being inclusive. Finding books that mirror your children’s experiences can break down walls and offer sliding doors for them to step into worlds both similar and different from their own. By celebrating different cultures, languages, genders, ethnicities, and social backgrounds, you can look at your reflection to appreciate what makes you unique in this world.
  • Community Helpers— Medical professionals, teachers, mail carriers, firefighters and librarians are the backbone of communities everywhere. The contributions, sacrifice, and resilience of these community helpers have made all of our lives a little easier over the course of this difficult year.  Find and settle in with stories that celebrate the strength of these irreplaceable pillars in your community.  It’s a perfect way to help your children discover an even deeper appreciation for each of their services.  
  • Coming Together— The new normal of the last year has involved social distancing and staying connected through screens, making it all the more important to find ways to build bridges and make connections.  Find and stories that heal.  Explore stories that build community and togetherness.  Delve into stories that connect and can unite us all.
  • Gratitude Select gratitude and you’ll be encouraged to reflect on the positive parts of your everyday life— the little things, the vital things— that bring you joy. Discover stories that celebrate being thankful for the big, the small, and the in-between. This theme will present you with the opportunity to ask children: Who are you grateful for? Where do you find the light when the world feels dark?

You have until Friday, June 26th to cast your vote for this year’s theme, so don’t delay! You can find the poll on the Read Aloud to a Child Week program page. Be sure to follow Read to Them on Facebook for more information and 2021’s theme reveal as the event draws nearer. 

Happy reading!



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